Padres add Sweeney, Watkins to Portland

The Portland Beavers announced today that the San Diego Padres have purchased the contract of right-hander Brian Sweeney.<br><br> The Beavers also announced that right-hander Steve Watkins has been transferred to Portland from Class AA Mobile.<br><br> Edgar Huerta will go to Mobile to take the place of Watkins. He has been out with a hip injury since early April.

Brian Sweeney, who led the Beavers in wins with a 5-2 record and a 3.54 ERA (21er, 53.1ip) in nine starts, made his major league debut in 2003 with the Seattle Mariners, posting no record and a 1.93 ERA (2er, 9.1ip) in five relief appearances.

Acquired from the Mariners with infielder Jeff Cirillo and cash considerations in exchange for right-hander Kevin Jarvis, catcher Wiki Gonzalez, infielder Dave Hansen and outfielder Vince Faison on January 6, 2004, Sweeney appeared in four games (1 start) for the Padres in spring training, going 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA (2er, 6.0ip).

Sweeney, 29, picked up wins in five straight starts with the Beavers, April 19-May 10, posting a 1.67 ERA (6er, 32.1ip) in those appearances. He was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week on April 26 after going 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA (1er, 12.0ip) in wins over Las Vegas and Salt Lake the week prior.

Sweeney takes the roster spot of right-hander Jake Peavy, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to May 20) with a strained flexor tendon in his right forearm.

Steve Watkins, 25, was 3-3 with a 4.21 ERA (24er, 51.1ip) in nine starts with the BayBears to begin the season.

A 16th-round selection of the Padres in the 1998 draft, Watkins appeared with both Mobile and Portland last season, going a combined 6-4 with a 3.95 (56er, 127.2ip) ERA in 32 appearances. He made all 18 of his starts at Mobile before being transferred to Portland, where he was 1-0 with a 3.08 ERA (9er, 26.1ip) in 14 relief appearances.

He earned his first Triple-A win on July 23 at Sacramento last season, allowing one run in 4.0 innings of relief work in the Beavers' 10-3 victory.

Watkins will join the Beavers starting rotation and is scheduled to start Friday night when the Beavers open a four-game series at Tucson.

Edgar Huerta is a left-handed relief pitcher who was acquired by the Padres as a minor league free agent prior to this season after spending four years in the Mexican League. Huerta opened this season with the Triple-A Portland Beavers before going on the disabled list on April 17th with a strained hip. He has not pitched since that time. With Portland, he appeared in four games covering five innings, allowing three hits and one run.

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